Tag Archives: Mocha

JJ BEAN COFFEE ROASTERS – Yaletown, 402 Davie St, Vancouver, BC, Canada (604) 684-9253

8 Apr

PRICE: $4-8

The rain finally lifts for a split second.

The second extends into minutes.

The minutes into hours,

That bleed into the rest of the afternoon and pour into the evening.

Time to stop and watch the world go by.

Walking down the street in Yaletown, Downtown Vancouver, the storm clouds have finally lifted and moved on.  Grumbling from a hard day’s work, they seem to be making their way to bug some other section of the Lower Mainland…maybe New Westminster?  Well, whatever the case, it’s great to finally have the sun get some breathing room.

The city is drenched in the fluorescent glow of liquid sunshine.  Clear water, now glowing white from the dull reflection of the sun on the clouds has settled onto sidewalks, porches, roads, and restaurants.  Like the city is awash in light.

I smile.  Time for one of those moments.

Time to watch the world go by.

“In a moment like this, the world passes by in a glorious instant.”

With a copy of today’s Globe and Mail in hand, I make my way to JJ Bean Coffee Roasters.  I’ve always wanted to check out one of their chains, and now I finally have the excuse that I’ve needed.

I go inside and place my order for a Mocha.  The service is friendly, and the barista introduces me to the resident Coffee Plant.  Sitting in a little flower pot, the draft coming in from an open window seems to animate the vegetable, making it wave at me with a certain nonchalance. 

A smile and a wave.  My Mocha is done, and I’m off to where I need to be at this moment.

Outside, sitting on a balcony, watching the world go by.

Delicate hints of dark chocolate mix in with the creamy-liquid foam the drink.  The taste is ever-present, but subdued.  The familiar warmth of the Coffee mug is reassuring.

In a moment like this, the world passes by in a glorious instant.



JJ Bean (Davie St) on Urbanspoon


MY CUP COFFE & TEA – #105 – 6011 No. 3 Road, Richmond, BC (604) 270-3990

29 Mar

PRICE:  $3-$10

I’m a little nervous right now.  I was just recently kicked out of a restaurant for the very first time.  Apparently some people don’t take too kindly to having scum like me taking pictures of their food and their restaurants.  Oh well.  I suppose the soul-stealing qualities of cameras are still feared by many food vendors.  I guess I really should’ve seen something like this coming, but honestly given the amount of people with smart phones taking pictures of food, I didn’t think that it was such a big deal.  Chalk it up to experience.  Soul-stealing without consent isn’t safe.  Let that be a lesson to all of you.

So yeah, I am quite nervous right now as I walk into this café.  I’m really hoping that the good folks at this place will be better sports when it comes to soul-stealing.

A slight pause.  I finally pull myself through the door.  The place is nice.  Dark tiles line the floor.  Big windows offer a panoramic view to my right.  Black marble tables line the room with comfy leather chairs standing by their sides.  The Pastry display case is to my left, the cash register in front.  Hiding behind counter, you can catch the steel glint of an Espresso machine.

“I wince each time I click the button, half-expecting to get thrown out of the place again.  Foodie PTSD is catching up with me.”

I place my order.  A Soy Caramel Macchiato and a Chocolate Waffle with Whip Cream on the side.  I pay the cashier, and wait for the order.  I fumble around anxiously with my camera in my pocket.  This is unnerving.  I’m suffering from Foodie Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (FPTSD).  Who would’ve thought getting thrown out of a restaurant would’ve given me such battle scars?

I finally start to talk, anxiously muttering as politely as I can.


My hostess is giving me a blank stare.


Now a blanker stare.

“…take pictures?  I’m…a blogger.  For food.”

I feel like a twelve year old asking out a girl for the first time.  Some things never change I guess.

She gives me an awkward okay, followed with a forced smile.  Yup.  Some things really don’t change at all.

I finally reveal my camera, stumble around awkwardly trying to look professional, and start snapping photos.  I wince each time I click the button, half-expecting to get thrown out of the place again.  Foodie PTSD is catching up with me.

I’m finally done clicking away and start to appreciate the orange diamonds dancing on my Caramel Macchiato.  Beautiful.  A sip reveals the foam to be of good quality; thick enough to provide a pleasing texture to the tongue, smooth enough to transition between foam to liquid without interruption, and uniform.  No stray bubbles.  An inferior barista makes their drinks feel like microwaved sugary Coffee-Milk with bubbles on top.  Definitely not the case here.  I’m enjoying it.

The Chocolate Waffle looks good and provides a nice Mocha-infused experience.  With Whip Cream on top, and bits of Chocolate Flakes sprinkled around, it makes for a satisfying snack.  My only concern; I wish they served it warm.  It was a little cold for my tastes.

The food finally relaxes me, and I think most of the symptoms of Foodie PTSD are starting to wear off.  I lean back, and enjoy the rainy day the way all rainy days should be enjoyed; inside, with a cup of great Coffee, a snack, and a newspaper in hand.

I fell off the horse a little while ago.  I think I’m back on again.

MyCup Coffee and Tea on Urbanspoon

EITHER CUP – A Homage.

18 Mar

Because I’m writing this on St. Paddy’s Day, and I really don’t feel like dining out at some restaurant at the moment, I’m gonna present you guys with a blast from the past.  This is a homage to one of the greatest Cafes that I’d ever been to.  The quality consistent, the Latte artwork beautiful, and the service…well let’s just say the owner was working there literally 7 days a week to no end.  He looked so tired that I could pretty much feel the stench of death overcoming him, but man could he make a good Latte.  And considering how tired he was, he was pretty personable.  At least more than I ever would be at that point.

Sadly this wonderful place is now gone with the wind, (the owner probably sold it due to burn-out).  But let’s cherish the times now gone, and revel in the work of this forgotten, under-appreciated artist.

I remember this place vividly.  I stumbled upon it randomly when I was having a really crappy day, and I was just thinking to myself I’m gonna go into the first place I see and they BETTER be able to make me feel better somehow!!

I opened the door and let the soft lights hanging overhead engulf me in their white light.  Soft dark leather couches, dark chairs and tiled floor.  A beautiful, minimalistic and classy joint.  It’s the kind of place you’d share an intimate moment in.  I stepped up to the counter and ordered my drink.

“There were a lot of weird complications I was going through at that time, but coming there at the end of the day made things simple.”

Upon seeing a flower blossom in the paper cup that held my Latte, I smiled.  I mean like a genuine smile.  For the first time in like a month.  This place became my little refuge for the next 2-3 weeks that followed, and I revelled in sharing the company and occasionally shooting the shit with a service worker that was as burned out as I was at the time (I was pulling 7 day weeks for almost 2 months or so at that point).  There were a lot of weird complications I was going through at that time, but coming there at the end of the day made things simple.  I loved that they also kept a few chairs outside, and on the gorgeous sunny days of summer 2010, I would just chill and watch the people go by, in my own space immune to the constraints of stress and time.  The kind of feeling a real Café should give someone.

The man behind the Espresso machine really knew his stuff.  He was largely self-taught, and I really think he could’ve won competitions if he entered into them.  A Latte-making Van Gogh.

So here’s to a great artist, sadly under-appreciated, and under-rated.  Hope you’re spinning flowers, hearts, tidal waves, and cats in Latte cups elsewhere.

Either Cup Coffee & Tea on Urbanspoon